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The Sunday Supplement


How’s everyone doing? No… really, you can tell us. Talk to your Local News Dudes.

Us? We’re rocking, thanks for asking. Busy now as more people poke their heads out of their Hidey-Holes, still masked up like highwaymen but moving around. Had a nice moment with an older gent on Friday, us elbowing the door open for him out of practice and training, the man in his 80s and with a gleam in his eye we recognized even behind his mask.

We exchanged pleasantries, “shot the breeze” a little before we split up to do our business, but he swung back as we were leaving.

“Enjoyed talking with you,” he said. “That’s the most I’ve said to anyone in three months.”

Totally get it. We like people, generally, but have learned to keep to ourselves over the years. So we’re comfortable that way. But we don’t know how you “People-People,” the ones who crave conversation and interaction and all that comes with an extroverted personality – are handling this isolation stuff.

Some of you, it seems, are not – suddenly finding things too much to bear, stripping off and running through the neighborhood in the gym suit your God gave you when you were born, singing the theme song from your favorite Disney musical or somesuch.

We’re sure it’s the stress we’re all under that’s loosening our earthly tethers to reality, perhaps a shortage of necessary medications – financial pressures, maybe just one too many Joe Namath commercials. We mean, we know that guy was the bomb back in the day but he’s kinda creeping us out, lately.

As luck would have it e-mail is the perfect contact-less method of communication in the Age of Pandemic and we don’t know about you but our lines have been humming. No one in an official capacity wanted to talk about it but the neighbors of a local grow site wanted to yak about the marijuana farm uncovered recently in Lamorinda; folks in Alamo-Danville wanted to know why Iver – their local mendicant – has been on such a tear lately; members of local police departments wondered if we’d heard anything about “professional” demonstrators infiltrating the ranks of local marchers.

There’s a lot of buzz going around on that last one, obviously, as protests in Oregon and Wisconsin have seen factions dressed in military-style gear taking to the streets with gunfire and deaths resulting. Police have expressed concern about an “arms race” of sorts developing, with protestors improving their communications, order of movement, and protective gear.

We’ve always liked talking with folks on the “front lines” of any profession and law enforcement is no exception. From what we can gather the field is feeling some pressure at the moment, with departments apparently finding it harder to find qualified applicants and their budgets tightening.

One professional expressed concern over the hardening of battle lines, with protestors using ballistic shields, body armor, and better gas masks – grudgingly admitting that perhaps marchers were tired of getting bashed as easily as they – and others – had been during earlier protests, taking steps to prevent police from identifying and arresting them.

Our contact seemed a little taken aback, that the bashed should suddenly tire of being bashed – and were taking measures to prevent it from happening again.

We predicted there might be some bloodletting around the country as we work out who we want to be and how to get there – anarchists and provocateurs taking advantage of the chaos to further their own peculiar agendas. We’re sorry that part proved true – but all the conditions were right for what we’re experiencing: the ready availability of weapons and tinder-dry political climate.

So now we have people in the streets crying for “medics” like battle-shocked members of an infantry platoon, members of both factions lying dead or grievously wounded in American cities and questions forming about the level of support they’re getting from police and political groups as factions line up to push past the casualties in order to further their own agendas.

We’re not alarmists but we are concerned. There are historical precedents for this type of thing – and every time something happens we say: “That’s it. That will wake them up. Things will stop.”

Only, they’re not.

And that Joe Namath commercial only appears to be getting more and more air time.

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